Sci-fi fans may feel inclined to approach the new Star Trek film a little cautiously. After all, the Star Wars prequels were so awful that many a fan feels their gag reflex trigger at even the mention of an ‘updated’ version of one of their beloved classics.
Movie fans needn’t worry however – the new Star Trek film keeps it simple and succeeds wildly in doing so.
Having said that, however, die-hard Star Trek fans may feel a little alienated (excuse the pun) by this energetic outing from JJ Abrams. While the faces all look familiar, the tone, pacing and action sequences of the new movie have more in common with the Lethal Weapon franchise than the meandering and philosophically-inclined earlier Trek movies.
The movie rolls back the clock, to tell the story of the coming together of the Enterprise team, and in particular, James T. Kirk’s journey to Captain of the USS Enterprise, and their first encounter with the Klingon menace.
Along the way Eric Bana makes an appearance as Kirk’s nemesis, Kiwi Karl Urban beams in as the new Dr. McCoy and Leonard Nimoy shows up too, as Spock senior (thanks to some messing about with the time/space continuum).
For those turned off by Star Trek’s monolithic back story, good news. This movie requires no knowledge of the Star Trek universe whatsoever. Much like the Mission Impossible films, this update succeeds because it doesn’t play too close to the original material. Instead, Star Trek is big, dumb fun; it looks great, has a crackling pace and works fine as a by-the-numbers action film.
So what do the Trekkies think? Apparently, opinion is divided, but as for the rest of us the Star Trek franchise looks set to live long and prosper.